One thing Ihate to see is an overweight dog, so Jay and I have always been really conscious of what and how much we feed Artie. Yes he does get a few “human” food treats like slices ham and a taste of cheese, but never cake or chocolate (although there was that one time when he stole some chocolate biscuits and I ended up with an emergency dash to the vet).
Artie’s biggest weakness is Peanut Butter Bones. He loves them.
He would get one after his breakfast and one after his supper. He would get one as a treat for being a good boy when we left him alone in the house. He would get one when Jay got home from work and he would get one just for giving a particularly cute and pitiful look.
Now Artie wasnt overweight by any stretch of the imagination but, being a slim lean whippet, we were becoming aware that maybe he wasnt as slim and lean as he ideally should be.
So, we started to ration his SmartBones.
And boy, he was not happy about that.
He would whine.
He would moan.
He would bark.
And he would stare at his biscuit jar, willing it to topple over and dispense the yummy treats so he could gobble them up.
Now he only gets one peanut butter bone a day when Jay gets home from work.
Although he can’t tell the time, as five o’clock rolls around Artie hangs about the kitchen knowing that it will soon be “bone time” and if we tell him he’s a little early for his snack, the look he gives almost seems to say “Well, its five o’clock somewhere.”
It was rabbit clean out day on Sunday. We have four rabbits split into two large hutches. Dandy and Basil live together and then we have Freckles and Honey.
Basil and Dandy are a pair of homebodies and although they like to run over to the doorway and say hello, they dont make any effort to get out.
Freckles and Honey, on the other hand, would love to come out and explore a bit, so I am extra careful about keeping only one side of their hutch open at a time when cleaning, and patting little furry butts back in if they do venture outside their home.
After scraping out and removing all the old straw and bunny poop from both hutches, I then put in loads of fresh bedding for them. I added the hay and some veggies before closing them up and heading to the shed to put the left over straw away.
As I neared the shed I saw a little brown wild bunny hopping around. Now this isnt that surprising as we do live in the country. What did shock me was the little fella didnt hop away like a frightened… well rabbit, as soon as it saw me.
Then I looked again a bit closer.
It was only bloody Honey, bold as you please sat chewing grass on her slow meander towards where all the pet food was stored.
So as not to frighten her, I quietly put down the remaining straw bale and moved behind her furry little arse to start herding her back towards the garden and her buddy Freckles. She tried to make a dash past the hutch at the last minute, but I scooped her up and popped her back inside.
Thursday morning after the girls headed to school, I drove to the nearest supermarket to do the weekly shop. When I say nearest I actually have to travel over twenty minutes to reach the large store. By the time I had finished the grocery shop, popped into a couple more stores and headed home again two and a half hours had passed.
I opened the front door to be greeted by Artie, our year old whippet, who was really happy to see me. Artie has recently been given the run of the house while we are out instead of the puppy cage he used to be placed in and so far he has been really well-behaved. On my second trip carrying bags from the car to the house I noticed a chocolate covered Breakaway biscuit bar, still in its wrapper on the hallway floor. Uh oh. On further investigation I found the multi-pack of bars missing from the kitchen work surface and four empty packets strewn across the living room floor.
I immediately telephoned the vet to ask their advice and after explaining the situation they said he should come in for a check over . I quickly got the rest of the bags from the car, shoved the frozen groceries into the freezer and loaded up Artie.
We arrived at the vets and to say Artie was hyper and bouncy was a bit of an understatement. I think either the chocolate was kicking in or he was just excited to be going to the vets! The young woman took us into a consultation room and I handed over one of the empty chocolate wrappers along with the packet they came in. It took the veterinarian a few minutes to work out some complicated calculation about the strength of the chocolate (it was milk which wasn’t as strong as dark) how much there was per bar, multiply it by four bars and then divide that by Artie’s weight.
At the end of it the vet said the chocolate he had consumed was below toxic levels, he seemed fine from his health check and I was to expect a possible bout of diarrhea. If I saw any change in him at all I was to take him straight back in.
Well, I am happy to say he is fine with no side effects at all and happily eating his doggy approved treats. Oh, and I shall be putting the chocolate biscuits up higher from now on.
Me: Hey AJ, I know what Pat called her guinea pigs.
Me: Piggy and Wig. They run around her garden with lots of tubes to run in and a house.
AJ: Cool. Doesn’t Pat have a dog?
Me: Maybe the dog doesn’t bother with the guinea pigs.
AJ: Maybe it’s an old dog and doesn’t want to play.
Bart: Like Grandma.
Me: Are you calling Grandma an old dog?
Bart: Grandma’s not a dog….. *sigh*….. just too old to play.
Last night when Jay got in from work, he took Artie our whippet and the girls out for a walk while I organised supper.
They hadn’t been gone that long when AJ came back home crying her eyes out. She was followed by Bart and Jay.
It seems Artie had a grand time charging around and running as fast as he could. So fast in fact he didn’t spot AJ when she was in front of him and barreled into her.
As Jay described to me later, it was like a bowling pin. He literally knocked her off her feet and she came straight down on her back, inches away from a big puddle.
The shock left her breathless for a few seconds before she let out a scream and then cried all the way home.
Luckily she came out of it not too badly. She has a bruise on her elbow and although she was a bit sore on her back last night, today it is fine.
As for Artie, our pup was totally oblivious to the pain he had caused.